Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin or any character and plot present in the tv show. I only own my main OC Asah, the plot surrounding her, as well as some other minor characters.
Travelling with an entire army in prevision of a war is an experience that Asah was not ready to repeat any time soon. Although she was not by any means the only female in the group and therefore did not feel any kind of threatened by the men around her, the ambient feeling of "I'm soon going to die" was making her weary.
Guinevere had come fetch her when they departed Camelot, bearing with her items that'd help Asah stay alive in the coming days or weeks. One consisted in a chainmail stopping at the hips, with a tight waistband and tight leather trousers that fitted her like a second skin. Gwen was dressed in a similar way, with a short vest trimmed with fur to keep warm during the nights. Asah was lent a woollen cloak for that same purpose.
Of course, she had not been given any weapons. Not that she needed any, to be honest, her magic having come back full force after her display in front of the King and his Knights. She did not use it a lot, but practiced in the dead of night in her tent, bent on being at her full power when she finally got to face Morgana.
Sometimes she wondered how Mordred felt. If he felt any remorse at having betrayed people who loved him. She hoped he did, for she did not wish to see him dead.
They reached Camlann in a few days. A cold and stony pass in the mountains, icy cold and unwelcoming. Guinevere asked Asah to help her and Gaius set up the medical tent, and two guards were sent to watch her as she helped.
She could still feel the red-haired Knight's glare on her whenever she walked close to the King's party. She wanted to tease him, to taunt him, to make him even angrier, but as she had no reason to and did not know why she wanted to in the first place, she did not.
And her thoughts went to Merlin. She wondered if he had managed to get his powers back. She also heard the King's words, his disappointment, that his servant and closest friend had left him in cowardice, and she wished to tell him, to explain, but knew she couldn't, and it made her even more bitter towards Morgana. She'd have scarred a pure friendship, and it made her want to kill her even more.
She wasn't sure she wanted to kill anyone anymore, but when the moment came, she realised she did not really have a choice.
She had been asked to fight in the pass climbing the mountains, while the King and the greater number of his men fought down in the sort of valley formed by the rocks. She had been sent there with the brown-haired Knight and her personal bane, whom she had discovered was the Knights' Captain.
It had been a surprise to find out he was actually quite important in the hierarchy, but it was not changed her feeling of…je-ne-sais-quoi whenever he was close. She did not know if she hated him or liked him; if she wanted to snap his neck of kiss him. And it made her even angrier.
When they reached their battle positions, the Captain turned to his men and placed them into a line, moving rocks to help hinder the Saxons who'd soon be upon them. When he reached her, his blue eyes lacked the flame of hatred they usually held, and he sighed. "Stay back. Throw whatever you wish at them, but do not get close. You're not blade-proof."
Asah smirked at that. "If I did not know better, I'd say you're worried for my safety, Sir Knight."
He huffed and moved to his own position, on the front line, she noticed. So he was not a coward either. Good to know.
At first the Saxons came in small waves. All crashing against a wall of Knights and a wall of fire whenever she felt like it. Using her magic strained her somehow, as if someone was trying their damnedest to stop her using it; and she soon found herself tired.
They had so far lost very few men, while the Saxons all died wave after wave after wave. The scent of burning flesh and of blood spilled made Asah's stomach churn, but she knew it was for the best. She had not fought in far too long, and the prize at the end of this battle – Morgana's death at her end – was too enticing to make her see that they were, in fact, losing. Hard.
A much more important number of Saxons appeared as soon as Asah realised she was too tired to hold her fire-breathing spell. Helped by the eerie shape of a dragon trying to fly above their heads.
"Take cover!" came the Captain's call, but too late for many of their men. Saxons and Knights alike fell to Aithusa's fire, and Asah could do little to help. She could not think of any spell that'd stop a raging dragon, and her memory of the pain she could inflict was distracting her from what was occurring around her.
She was frozen, useless, scared, stupid and useless.
She was waiting for her own deathly fate, for the fire to overtake her, when a dooming voice saved her. She raised her gaze to see the figure of an old man perched on the mountain, a stick in his hand and the dragon tongue on his lips. Aithusa whimpered and retreated, as if wounded, before the figure conjured lightning.
Asah smile. "Emrys…" she whispered. Hope had sprung back into her. They'd be winning, now, Morgana would be defeated, Mordred would be redeemed, all would be well…
A searing pain in her stomach made her lower her gaze, and her amber eyes widened at the same time as the bloodied blade that had pierced her retreated. Her lips opened and she let out a scream, magic seeping out of her and striking the Saxon who had stabbed her from behind.
"Die, traitor!" he spat before being struck down by her magic.
Asah looked dumbly at the wound in her stomach, and the pain turned into fire coursing over her, more painful, even, than Aithusa's. She fell to her knees, all energy leaving her at the same time as the fire ate at her limbs. She could not see the flames, but could see the blood oozing out of her, and she understood then.
She would not get to avenge her village. Seth. She'd die before she could confront Morgana.
She had failed.
She let out another cry, fainter, like the wounded animal that she was, until two arms wrapped around her and brought her against someone's chest.
Asah leaned against the man and raised the eyes while the flames consumed her. It was him – the handsome bane of her existence, the red-haired Captain whose name she did not know. She raised a bloodied hand and sullied his cheek and beard as she stroked it.
"I…am…sorry," she managed to croak.
He chuckled darkly. "We are winning." It made her try a smile, because at least they had that, but she felt suddenly so tired, so tired… The flames were calming down, but they were replaced by something worse – cold. She was turning to ice, and it hurt.
She winced. "You don't have to stay here," she panted.
He chuckled again, as if she had said something very stupid, and then turned more serious, his eyes looking almost pained. "I don't even know your name…" he said.
She tried another smile, and though it was weak, it also was beautiful to behold. "I don't know yours."
"Leon. My name is Leon."
Like the lion whose mane he had inherited. She smiled. "Asah."
She winced as another wave of ice overtook her, and she felt like closing her eyes and sleeping. When she'd wake up, everything would be better.
"It was nice meeting you, Leon…" she managed to croak.
Her amber eyes closed, and her breath hitched. She breathed her last, and Sir Leon, Captain of Camelot's Knights, sighed before lifting her body off the ground.
She had just been a girl, but Asah the druid had saved his life and his Queen's, and it was an act he was willing to call heroism.